Mark Your Calendars for the Diamond Dash Wedding Show!

We hope you are planning to join us at the last EPIC
ABQ Wedding Show of the year!

Diamond Dash Wedding Show

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Hyatt Regency Albuquerque, 330 Tijeras NW

VIP Pre-Party, Chapel | 11:30-12:30

Wedding Show, Main Ballroom | 1-4

The Wedding Show as well as the VIP Pre-Party are each $5 online, but prices will go up to $10 at the door!

Make sure to get your tickets here>

This is your chance to see the hottest trends in bridal and men’s formalwear, score giveaways galore and possibly get picked to be one of the 5 lucky ladies to dive into a wedding cake for FREE diamond jewelry from our local Shelton Jewelers, all while planning your wedding with the best — the VERY best!

Here are 5 reasons you don’t want to miss out on the Diamond Dash!

  1. VIP Insider Secrets Pre-Party is happening from 11:30-12:30 in the brand new, beyond amazing, Hyatt Regency ABQ Chapel.
  2. The first 200 engaged couples to check into the show will receive $500 in PWG Bucks to spend toward your dream wedding.
  3. An elite assortment of the most preferred wedding professionals in Albuquerque, all ready to meet you under one roof!
  4. Breathtaking displays sure to inspire and help you envision the perfect celebration for your big day.
  5. Wedding swag and phenomenal specials that can help you maximize your budget and book today’s top wedding professionals.

Click here for tips to get the most out of the Diamond Dash!

Check out our spring Diamond Dash video by Photographic Perspectives:

A SPECIAL THANKS TO ALL OUR SPONSORS:

Hyatt Regency | Photographic Perspectives | Cake Fetish | New Mexico Wedding Professionals | King Mobile Music | Bliss Salon & Spa | Suits Unlimited |  | Bridal Elegance by Darlene | Simply Decor & Events

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

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Come One, Come All! Witness the Incredible 2017 Bride’s Select Award Winners!

Last night was a circus — literally! Thanks to all of you who took the time to vote, we had the amazing opportunity to show our appreciation and celebrate the accomplishments of our favorite wedding professionals in Albuquerque and Santa Fe for our annual Bride’s Select Awards at NOAH’s Event Venue.

More than 650 local brides, grooms and newlyweds voted in over 20 categories and the results are in! Covering everything from Best Beauty Expert and Best Floral Designer to Best Ceremony Venue and Best Photographer, we are pleased to present you with the best of the best!

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, step right up to see the amazing, the talented 2017 Bride’s Select Award winners!

Best Unique Wedding Service: Frost Gelato

Best Photo Booth Rental: Cutmaster Music

Best Cinematographer: Southwest Wedding Films

Best Photographer: Matt Blasing Photography

Best Local Band: Entourage Jazz

Best Disc Jockey: Dream Factory Productions

Best Place to Order Invitations: Funky Olive Invitations + Stationery

Best Hotel for Guest Accommodations: Hotel Andaluz

Best Men’s Formal Wear Shop: Mr. Tux Formal Wear

Best Bridal Gown Shop: Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Best Floral Designer: Floriography

Best Rental Company: Simply Décor and Events

Best Event Decor: Black Swan Events

Best Wedding Officiant: Amor Ceremonies

Best Location to have a Ceremony: Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm

Best Place to Have a Reception: Hotel Albuquerque

Best Place to Have a Rehearsal Dinner: El Pinto

Best Place to have a Bachelorette Party: Uptown Funk

Best Catering or Restaurant: Prairie Star

Best Place to Order Wedding Cake: Simply Sweet by Darci

Best Spa or Place to Relax: Bliss Salon & Spa

Best Bridal Beauty Expert: Genica Lee

Best Wedding Coordinator: Alena Swanson, LLC

Congratulations, 2017 Bride’s Select Award Winners!

Photos by Sacred Life Photography

And, of course, a special thanks to our AMAZING sponsors! You made our Bride’s Select Awards Circus a huge success!

Ringmaster Brad of King Mobile Music | NOAH’S Event Venue | Occasion Services & Events | Conchita’s Creations | Bombshell Fitness | Sacred Life Photography | Charlotte’s Flowers | High Noon Restaurant & Saloon | Wise Fool New Mexico

Every year, your local Perfect Wedding Guide reaches out to hundreds of New Mexico brides, grooms and newlyweds just like you to get your feedback on your favorite local wedding businesses.

Stay tuned for dates to cast your vote for our 2018 Bride’s Select Awards!

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Find Your Dream Dress in Your Size

Have you ever found a beautiful dress online, only to order the dress and be completely disappointed in how it fits or looks in person? I don’t know about you, but this has happened to me many times. Unfortunately, the same is true of wedding dresses, so don’t make the mistake of falling in love with a dress you see in a magazine or online before you have tried it on.

To help you make the right decision from the get go, I had the pleasure of meeting with Darlene of Bridal Elegance by Darlene to give us insight on some of your most pressing questions about wedding dresses. Particularly, how do you find the right style of dress? and, how do you find the right size?

Darlene had some great tips to help all you brides-to-be find the perfect dress for your big day. With over 35 years of experience, well over 500 styles of wedding gowns and over 200 bridesmaids dresses to choose from in her local bridal boutique, you may want to pay attention to Darlene’s advice — I have a good feeling she knows a thing or two about this topic!

Number One: Keep An Open Mind

Usually, brides look on Pinterest or see a picture of a model in a dress and get locked into that idea and imagine that they will look the same way. Only to get to the bridal boutique and find out it isn’t the right style or fit for their body type. Ladies, if this happens to you don’t feel bad — you’re not alone.

Darlene explained that this is very typical and that is why it is so important to keep an open mind. Besides, after trying on a few dresses at Bridal Elegance by Darlene, she is usually able to help brides find the perfect dress that turns out to be even better than the original gown they had in mind.

Maura Jane Photography
Photo by Maura Jane Photography

Number Two: Trying On vs. Fitting

Many brides are concerned about their dress fitting them perfectly so they put off trying on dresses until the last minute, hoping this will ensure the most accurate size for the wedding. However, you don’t want to put it off. To have a dress that fits you perfectly, you should definitely start trying on dresses 10 months to a year out from your wedding.

Doing so will ensure enough time for placing the order, processing, shipping and alterations. Once the dress is in you will have an official fitting with all your undergarments four weeks from your wedding date. Once the initial alterations are made, you’ll have another fitting two weeks before to fine tune your dress, make any additional changes and make sure it’s just right!

Photo by Roxana Albusel Photography

Number Three: Wear Your Shoes

If you already have the shoes you’re going to wear or know the height of the shoes you want, it would be a really good idea to take them or another pair of the same height on your search for the perfect dress. Oftentimes, this detail is overlooked and the dress isn’t the right length come the wedding day. You don’t want it to be too short or too long that your tripping over it as you walk down the aisle.

And if you shop for your dress early enough, you can order your dress in the perfect length and save money on alterations later. For more on being prepared for your visit to the bridal boutique, take a look at our post: How to Survive Your First Bridal Appointment.

Photo by Maura Jane Photography

Number Four: What About Bridesmaids?

The same advice applies to bridesmaids, if not more so. You don’t want to get locked into a certain style with bridesmaids dresses because, as Darlene mentions, “You have to fit five different body shapes into one style.” You want your entourage to feel just as beautiful and comfortable, so be sure to keep each lady in mind as you dream about the perfect look for your bridesmaids.

Photo by Maura Jane Photography

Number Five (Advice Mine): When in Doubt, Don’t

If you’re not absolutely in love with a dress, don’t settle. You will end up wasting money on something you don’t really like and regret your decision in the long run. Be patient. When the right dress comes around you will know it!

And whatever you do, don’t settle on a dress because someone else thinks it’s beautiful. Choose a dress that you love and that you feel comfortable in. After all, it’s your wedding and you only get one shot to look and feel your best on your big day.

Ladies, lets not decide on this bridesmaid’s dress straight away. Let’s let our bodies decide, try some things on, and have some fun.

— Helen, Bridesmaids

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Romantic Desert Wedding Inspiration

Our enchanting desert landscape has long been a source of inspiration for artists of all kinds, including our talented friends in the wedding industry like photographers, designers and florists. For those of us who have become accustomed to our local landscape, it’s easy to take the desert for granted, but the earthy tones are the perfect canvas for a desert wedding masterpiece.

From the whimsical desert plants like yucca and cholla cactus, to the hidden elements of turquoise and burgundy clay, the possibilities are endless and this amazing styled shoot, captured by Briana Nicole Photography, is the perfect example of just how beautiful a desert southwest wedding can be. With a spin on local culture, this collaboration came together effortlessly.

For instance, the custom wedding stationery by Funky Olive Design Studio, showcased local symbols like the Zia and red chile. The amazing bouquet by Stephanie Yardman Floral Design was the perfect touch with cascading pheasant tail feathers and a mini barrel cactus. And the perfectly decorated sugar cookies by Little Sparrow Cookie Co. were everything but ordinary.

My hope for this styled wedding shoot was to show brides in the southwest that the desert can be such a beautiful place to incorporate into your wedding day. I feel like sometimes it can be overlooked because other areas have beautiful trees and greenery — I wanted to show brides that New Mexico is a beautiful place to call home. The elements in this shoot showcase some of the beautiful local culture as well as the art and to me, that’s why it stands out.

— Briana Nicole Photography

Photos by Briana Nicole Photography

Meet the professionals who helped make this styled shoot possible:

Photographer: Briana Nicole Photography, IG: @briananicolephoto | Hair + Makeup: C. Johnson Makeup, IG: @cjohnsonmakeup | Flowers: Stephanie Yardman Floral Design, IG: @stephanieyardman | Invitations: Funky Olive Design Studio, IG: @funkyolivedesign | Models: April Esquibel + Adam Sanchez, IG: @aprilmayesquibel | Dress: Bridal Elegance by Darlene, IG: @bridalelegancenm | Dessert: Little Sparrow Cookie Co., IG: @littlesparrowcc

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

How to Survive Your First Bridal Appointment

It can be a daunting task. Choosing the perfect wedding gown, that is. After all, picking out your wedding dress is the second most important decision to picking out your fiancé! To help you survive this fun, but sometimes overwhelming task, we compiled a short list of tips to get you on your way.

Don’t worry, you can thank us later!

Photo by The Dressing Room West, Santa Fe

Tip #1

Don’t Get Frustrated with Your Consultant’s Nosiness

She’ll probably ask about your venue, the proposal, your theme, the colors you’ll be using and even your budget. Just keep your cool. Especially when it comes to your budget. They just want to make sure they’re on the same page as you. And they certainly don’t want you to waste 90 minutes of your precious planning time looking at gowns you hate.

Tip #2

Bring Photos

Your Pinterest wedding board (or boards, if you’re a crazy planner like we are) is quite handy! You can show your consultant gowns you like, or even gown silhouettes for a general idea. Photos will help your consultant see your vision and guide you to specific designers and dresses that will fit the bill!

Tip #3

Come Prepared

In this case, we’re not talking about your typical, “Make sure you bring a camera and a bottle of champagne!” No. What we’re talking about is underwear. Don’t get us wrong, going commando is a personal preference and we respect that. But if you don’t wear underwear, unfortunately, they can’t let you try on their gorgeous gowns.

Save yourself the headache and a trip to Victoria’s Secret. And just remember to wear full-coverage underwear to your first, second, third, fourth, and hundredth bridal appointment. We’re not joking about this.

Tip #3 1/2

Cover Up the Goods

Building on that thought, full-coverage underwear is always a very, very good idea. Consultants don’t necessarily mind what kind of underwear you wear, but they do want you to be comfortable. They will be in the dressing room with you to help you try on gowns and if you don’t want them to see you in anything revealing, take the necessary steps to cover up.

As always, you’re welcome to the disposable underwear they keep in store, though they aren’t very flattering! The upside, however, is that their disposable underwear option also saves yours from getting caught in the zipper, which tends to happen with lacy and stringy underwear. And they don’t want your expensive undies to get ripped any more than you do.

Tip #4

Leave the Entourage at Home

Because your wedding is going to be absolutely amazing, a lot of people will want to accompany you every step of the way. But it’s okay to say no! In fact, our tip number four is to actually limit the number of people you bring to your bridal appointment.

Not only can it get crowded in the store, but it can be really, really overwhelming for you as the bride (and your consultant!). Keeping your entourage to one or two trustworthy, honest and supportive peeps is the best thing to keep the experience fun and fruitful — as it should be.

Plus, if your loudly opinionated Aunt Betty insists on coming with you, simply make a separate appointment after you decide on a gown. That way, she’ll still get a sneak peak and feel included. You can even make 200 appointments just to try on the same gown, they don’t mind at all.

Tip #5

EAT BEFORE YOUR APPOINTMENT!

Our last tip probably should have been #1 because it is very, very important. And we get it, we really do. You don’t want to be bloated, or sluggish while you’re trying on gowns, but please trust us when we say you must eat. You’ll be in and out of heavy gowns very quickly and it can get pretty warm beneath all those layers of tulle. In fact, some consultants have actually had girls pass out mid-appointment, because all they had that day was a venti caramel macchiato. Don’t be that girl!

Photo by Bridal Elegance By Darlene, K. Mari Photography

To recap, here’s what you need for your appointment: food, underwear, your two best friends and an idea of what you want. Yes, that is in descending order of importance. In fact, if all you do is eat a full meal and wear underwear, you’ll probably have a pretty successful shopping trip.

Good luck! And make sure to try the amazing bridal shops we have right here in Albuquerque and Santa Fe!

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Industrial Chic Wedding {Chris + Teresa}

On a cool October morning (typical weather for the balloon fiesta), Chris had a surprise up his sleeve to turn the page on the next chapter of his life. Aboard the gondola of a hot air balloon, October 7, 2014, Chris popped the question to his beautiful bride-to-be. As they floated above the city, Chris and Teresa were on cloud nine as they anticipated the adventure of their new life together waiting just beyond the horizon.
Taking place at The Yards, downtown Albuquerque, one of the coolest venues our city has to offer, Chris and Teresa became Mr. and Mrs. Chartrand on the anniversary of their romantic gondola engagement. As the warm New Mexico sunshine pierced through the stained-glass windows of the historic rail yards gone modern chapel, Chris and Teresa made it official at their industrial chic wedding, October 7, 2016.
Captured by Alicia Lucia Photography, everything from the invitations and twinkle lights to the favors and games were completely C + T. And before the night came to a close, they made sure to treat their guests to a perfect pairing of street tacos and local brew for a late night snack. With all the amazing details, words can’t express the industrial wedding of Chris and Theresa last fall. You will just have to get a taste of the Chartrand wedding for yourself!
Chris and Teresa’s wedding was the perfect combination of cozy meets industrial chic. Brides will totally jive with this wedding from the rail yard as their venue, to their rad music selections (including 500 Miles by Sleeping at Last, Una Palabra by Carlos Varela), the cozy details of all the different lounge areas, a late night taco truck and holy cow their cake! My goodness, that in itself was a work of art. So many exquisite yet personal details that had their personality and quirkiness written all over it! Over 90% of their guests flew in from all over the country to celebrate with them, and it couldn’t have been at a more spectacular time for them to experience the unique beauty our state has to offer! — Alicia Lucia Photography

Photos by Alicia Lucia Photography
Rugged Glam: it’s a little less sequins, a little more industrial scintillations. It’s new love dancing under an aged roof. It’s cozy meets quirky meets exquisite — and it’s never been done so well.
Congratulations, Chris and Teresa!
Meet the professionals who helped make their dream a reality:
Photographer: Alicia Lucia Photography | Wedding Planner: Alena Swanson | Video: Avista Video | Venue: The Yards | Makeup: Betty Rose by Alanna | Hair: Genica Lee | Catering: Black Iron Catoring Company | Favors and Baked Goods: Chocolate Dude | Veil: Forever Yours | Groom/Groomsmen Attire: Mr. Tux | Dress Designer: Pronovias | Dress store: Trudy’s Boutique | Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal | Officiant: Roy Ricci | Photo Booth: ShutterBooth | Flowers: Signature Sweets & Flowers | Cake: The Cake Boutique | Rentals: AA Events & Tents and Classic Party Rentals | Setup: ABQ Event Support
For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com

Behind-the-Scenes: Diamond Dash Wedding Show

While most of us were still counting sheep the morning of the Diamond Dash Wedding Show (earlier this month), the Perfect Wedding Guide crew was busy with all the preparations by the time we rolled out of bed and shuffled our way to the kitchen for our morning java. Lucky for me, I had the great pleasure of joining my comrades later in the day for a behind-the-scenes look at our Diamond Dash Wedding Show. As you might imagine, setting up for a wedding show takes lots of hard work, but the PWG crew doesn’t mess around! To maintain the well-oiled machine of the Diamond Dash, it took countless cups of coffee to keep up with all its moving parts. By the end of the day, however, the caffeine hangover was definitely worth it!

It was such a pleasure to see and participate in all the action of the Diamond Dash. As the wedding show came underway, I got to mingle with happy brides-to-be and explore the various displays and vendors throughout the showroom. Among them were the gals from Pennysmiths Paper, who specialize in the most beautiful wedding stationery this side of the Mississippi! In addition, Charlotte’s Flowers was present with their elegant silk flower arrangements. At the same time, some lucky ladies were pampered by Bliss Salon & Spa. And who could forget the amazing fashion show by Bridal Elegance? Darlene’s dresses were absolutely breathtaking!

Pennysmiths Paper
Charlotte’s Flowers
Bliss Salon & Spa
Bridal Elegance by Darlene
Bridal Elegance by Darlene

Don’t miss out on our next wedding show, Bride’s Night Out, coming up this June at Hotel Andaluz!

For more on everything Wedding + Wedding Planning, visit us at: PerfectWeddingGuide.com